Monday, January 4, 2010


Yesterday afternoon we were driving around in Baytown when we saw this hawk in a field on Main Street. My camera was equipped with my 100-400mm zoom and a 430EX flash with a Better Beamer flash extender attached so we pulled over. I got as close as I could for this shot but I was still pretty far away and as a result this image is about a 25% crop of the original.

Title: "Hawk"

Shot data: 1/250s f/5.6 at 400.0mm iso320
Post-processing: Adobe Camera Raw > Photoshop CS4 > Topaz Adjust plugin
Flash: Canon 430EX on camera in TTL mode with Better Beamer attached


Cindi said...

I have noticed so many hawks around lately...I am not sure if it is just my observation skills or if their numbers are increasing. We have at least one pair of these Red Shouldered hawks in my neighborhood and I can NEVER get a sharp shot of them. Partly due to my bad technique and partly that they are pretty shy and fly off if you get anywhere close. Even though you have a busy background with all those branches, this hawk stands out pretty well, though you have some of the same issues I do with the feathers and eye not being tack sharp and clearly defined. Still, better than I have done!

Doug Haass said...

Keep shooting and look out for branches that intrude on the head or eye. Good job noticing the hawk and sticking with it to get the shot.

It doesn't appear to be sharp, as indicated by Cindi. It could also be the noise being magnified from cropping into the photo. Was this handheld?

Barry Armer said...

Thanks Cindi and Doug!

This is a shot that Tim Timmis would have deleted but since I don't shoot many birds it's a keeper for me! :-)

This was a handheld shot at 1/250 sec which, with image stabilization on the lens, should have been fast enough to get a clear shot right? Maybe I just needed to be closer to get the feather detail in focus?


Doug Haass said...

The wildlife mantra...always shoot for the eye to be in focus when they are perched or still. Unless you have real good technique you still cannot beat a tripod.

That's more difficult to do when they are flying. I cannot get a decent bird in flight off the tripod and will try handholding my 500mm next time.